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United Kingdom

The anti-nuclear movement in Britain has a long and active history. The famous peace symbol that has come to have universal meaning was first adopted by the British anti-nuclear weapons movement, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

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Monday
Apr292013

Beyond Nuclear concludes successful UK visit 

Beyond Nuclear’s Paul and Linda Gunter recently returned from England where they met with and briefed UK nuclear experts and spoke to activist groups. The UK government is eager to build 10 new reactors. However, the premise for such “need” was based on a gross misrepresentation of actual anticipated demand as was exposed by a groundbreaking report - A Corruption of Governance.

Paul and Linda spoke to a packed town hall in Glastonbury, Somerset, not far from the Hinkley nuclear power station where French electricity giant, Électricité de France (EdF), is attempting to build two of its unpopular (and in the US, failed) Evolutionary Power Reactors (EPR). The Beyond Nuclear presentation informed and inspired the audience, generating new members of the Stop Hinkley alliance.

Similarly, in Leiston, Suffolk, Paul and Linda addressed a full town hall at an event organized by Together Against Sizwell C (TASC), Shut Sizewell and Friends of the Earth, Suffolk coast. They helped mobilize new support for efforts to stop construction of an EPR at the Sizewell site, situated on a rapidly eroding beach, which, like Hinkley, is home to one operating and one shuttered reactor. Beyond the horizon from that beach lies the inspiring Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm whose control room Beyond Nuclear was welcomed into (with no need for security measures and pictured below right) The wind farm, where fishing is prohibited, has created a marine sanctuary, while local fishermen have found employment piloting the transport boats to and from the array.

EdF is endeavoring to score a “strike price” from the UK government - that would provide the company with a guaranteed price at which the UK would buy electricity from nuclear plants to be built by EdF. EdF wants at least 100 pounds ($150) per megawatt-hour (MWh) which would dramatically raise UK electricity prices and is tantamount to a subsidy, something the UK government claims to be opposed to. The “negotiations” continue to drag on, with the latest news being that EdF has signed a deal with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co., (all EdF’s previous UK partners in British reactor projects have walked away). But while speculation is rife that the Chinese might invest in Hinkley, EdF has been laying off workers at the site, an indication that talks are not going well.

In addition to activists meetings, Paul and Linda met with nuclear experts, Dr. Paul Dorfman, Dr. Ian Fairlie, Dr. David Lowry and Dr. Stephen Thomas. They also participated in a large rally organized by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) outside the 7 gates of the Aldermaston nuclear weapons complex where Linda spoke.

 

Monday
Oct222012

Feed-in tariffs for energy conservation and efficiency proposed in the UK

October 18, 2012, By Paul Gipe

In a precedent-setting move, WWF-UK and Green Alliance have urged the conservative British government to use feed-in tariffs to spur greater energy conservation and efficiency as part of its upcoming Energy Market Reform.

The joint press release by WWF-UK (known as the World Wildlife Fund in North America) and Green Alliance, a British environmental think tank, used the publication of a new report to recommend that the ruling coalition include feed-in tariffs for energy efficiency, what it is calling "EE FiTs", in the energy bill that will be introduced this fall.

In a sign that the two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may have some influence on the policy debate, British trade publication Energy & Environmental Magazine is reporting that Conservative MP Tim Yeo, the Chair of the House of Commons Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change, has voiced qualified support of the effort. The magazine quotes Yeo as saying the NGO's have made "a very strong case" at an energy policy debate where the report was launched.

Yeo is also president of the Renewable Energy Association, a trade group representing British renewable heat, power, and transport industry.

Academics have discussed the possibility of using feed-in tariffs for energy conservation and energy efficiency for some time. As recently as April 2012, an American NGO, the Regulatory Assistance Project, issued a report, Energy Efficiency Feed-in-Tariffs: Key Policy and Design Considerations, detailing how it could be done.

However, the British NGOs' proposal is the first serious attempt at incorporating such a policy in current political discourse. Thus, the move is significant not only in Britain, but also worldwide.

Friday
Jul012011

"Truly shocking" collusion between U.K. govt. and nuclear industry to downplay Fukushima catastrophe

The London Guardian newspaper, in an article entitled "Revealed: British government's plan to play down Fukshima," reports that "Internal emails seen by Guardian show PR campaign was launched to protect UK nuclear plans after tsunami in Japan." The internal emails, viewable at the Guardian link above, and other forms of collusion including a meeting, involved various U.K. government agencies, and such French and Japanese nuclear industry firms as Areva, Electricite de France, and Toshiba-Westingthouse.

In the U.S., the Nuclear Regulatory Commission wasted no time in downplaying the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. On March 13th, just two days after the earthquake and tsunami plunged Fukushima Daiichi into station blackout and radioactivity releases and even large-scale hydrogen gas explosions were underway, NRC issued a media release entitled "NRC SEES NO RADIATION AT HARMFUL LEVEL REACHING U.S. FROM DAMAGED JAPANESE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS." Incredibly, this false assurance was applied even to U.S. territories in the Pacific such as Guam and American Somoa, not far distant from Japan, "as the wind blows" and as the ocean currents flow. After NRC Chairman Jaczko communicated this message to Barack Obama in the Oval Office, the President repeated it to the news media and the American people.

Friday
Nov192010

I wonder what Prince Charles thought of this?

The Queen of England, using a "virtual digger" broke ground at the UK's Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. The  facility is to produce components and systems for the new generation of nuclear power stations.

Friday
Oct222010

Not-so-"stealthy" UK nuke submarine stuck in mud off Scotland